Thursday 8th June 2023

Ag officials warn of unsolicited seed shipments to states


FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Agriculture officials in multiple states have issued warnings about unsolicited shipments of foreign seeds and advised people not to plant them.

In Kentucky, the agriculture department says it was notified that several Kentucky residents received unsolicited seed packets sent by mail that appeared to have originated in China. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said Monday the types of seeds are unknown and could be harmful.

He stressed that the seeds should not be planted.

“If you have received such a package, do not – let me repeat – do not plant the seeds and contact us immediately at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture,” Quarles said.

State officials do not know what the seeds are but believe them to be potentially harmful.

“At this point in time we don’t have enough information to know if this is a hoax, a prank, an internet scam or an act of agricultural bioterrorism,” Quarles said.

To contact the KDA, call (502) 573-0282 or email

In North Carolina, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says it was contacted by numerous people who received seed shipments they did not order.